Agenda item

Statutory Social Care and Corporate Complaints Annual Reports for 2018/19 - Complaints and Customer Feedback


A report was presented by Angela Esslinger, Complaints and Appeals Manager, providing complaints and customer feedback reports on both the Statutory Social Care Annual Report (with separate sections for both adult and children and young people's services) and the Non-Statutory Corporate Complaints Report for 2018/19.


It was reported that complaints represented just over 1% of all active adult social care and children's social care cases throughout Lancashire in 2018/19.


The Cabinet Committee noted that there had been 538 complaints about adult social care in 2018/19 which had been broadly the same for 2017/18. However, it was reported that people were more likely to compliment the adult social care service, rather than to complain, and that these compliments had risen from 615 in 2017/18 to 692 in 2018/19.


Children's social care complaints had risen slightly to 289 in 2018/19 from 280 in 2017/18. It was appreciated that due to the nature of the work, not many compliments were received for children's social care services. It was reported that social work practice continued to be the most frequent subject of complaint, covering more than 61% of all children's social care complaints.


Ombudsman complaints had decreased for both adults and children's social care.


Lessons learnt from upheld complaints were detailed within Appendix 'A'. It was appreciated that communication issues were at the heart of many complaints and that, if this were addressed, many complaints would be resolved much earlier in the process.


The Cabinet Committee noted that there was a shortage of children's social care Social Workers and that this was the case nationally.


County Councillor Williamson reported that the county council had a good handle on where children's social care complaints were coming from and thanked Angela for all her hard work.


In relation to non-statutory corporate complaints, Lancashire County Council had dealt with 1188 expressions of dissatisfaction in 2018/19, which was a reduction of 3% on the previous year. It was noted that the vast majority of these had been resolved and nipped in the bud as routine service issues, early in the complaint process. It was reported that 35% of expressions of dissatisfaction had been about highways, although this was a significant reduction from 2017/18 when the proportion had been 50%.


A total of 34 final decisions had been made by the Local Government & Social Care Ombudsman in 2018/19: 76% of these were not investigated, 15% were upheld or partly upheld and 9% were not upheld.


It was reported that, in the last two quarters, no corporate complaints had been upheld by the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman.


The Cabinet Committee noted that a total of 8794 corporate compliments had been received in 2018/19 and that 92% of these were in relation to public health commissioned services.


Lessons learnt from upheld corporate complaints (mainly about blue badges) were detailed within Appendix 'B'.


Angela reported that she had organised some Corporate Complaints Management Training, which she would undertake.


Resolved: The Cabinet Committee on Performance Improvement noted the statutory Social Care complaints report for Children and Young People and Adults services for 2018/19, and the Corporate Complaints report, acknowledging the associated learning.

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